There are a number of changes that occur during and following pregnancy. Commonly pain or discomfort is experienced in the pelvic and lower back region due to these changes and can vary in severity and frequency for each individual.
The common physical changes during pregnancy include:
• Weight gain
• Hormone changes
• Blood volume changes
• Gastrointestinal changes
• Renal change
• Postural changes
Pain is commonly felt as a sudden sharp pain in the groin and lower abdomen, particularly in the second trimester, and can often be attributed to a significant stretching and strain of the round ligament, which connects the uterus to the groin. This pain will usually ease post natally when the ligament has time to recover post birth.
Pain and discomfort in the pelvic region may also be a result of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. This may affect both urinary and faecal continence, as there is an increased pressure down on the pelvic floor. As a result of this increased pressure, the pelvic floor muscles may not be able to support the internal organs and pelvic organ prolapse may occur.
Post natally, it is not uncommon to experience coccyx pain. This may have originated from the trauma of labour and feel like localised pain around the coccyx.
There are a number of other causes for pelvic girdle pain including:
• Increased hormones which increase ligament laxity
• Muscle imbalance
• Biomechanical changes with posture and center of gravity
• Decreased joint friction
• Pain, which therefore causes more tension, muscle inhibition and therefore further increasing pain.
Your physiotherapist will be able to assess and identify the type and cause of your pelvic pain and therefore treat and manage your individual symptoms.